New Initiatives in the field of Exoplanetary Science in India
Co-ordinators : Lalitha Sairam (IIA), Koshy George (IIA)

Due to improved observational techniques, both the rate of detection and our knowledge about extrasolar planets has been increasing. Since 1995, over several thousands of exoplanets have been discovered. While most of the known exoplanets remain Hot Jupiters, the frontier has inevitably approached the Earth-mass regime. To find planets like our own Earth requires a new sophisticated  technology since they are much smaller and are more liable to be hidden by the glare of the parent star. The primary goal of this workshop is to introduce to the newest developments in exoplanetary science, and explore the challenges and opportunities in the field. We will also focus on the current status of ongoing planet search programs and future observations.

Observational exoplanet research has developed enormously in the last two decades and a huge dataset is available in the archive. The workshop will lay ground to increase the efficient use of archival data in the country. The outcome of the workshop would be to learn and understand the tools from the experts in the field. It would be an oppurtunity to identify specific science goals that would enable in conducting observations with the existing facilities in the country.

Requirement for the workshop

No specific preparation is required to proficiently attend the workshop. 

For data analysis hands-on session:
  • UNIX based laptop with PYTHON and analysis packages like scipy, numpy, pyfits, matplotlib...
  • Data for reduction and analysis will be shared with the participants prior to the workshop. Kindly download those datasets.

Program schedule and the speakers

Date: 6 March 2017
Venue: TBD 

Title of the talk Speakers  Time 
Exoplanets - The fascinating new customers for Astronomers Sujan Sengupta (IIA)   9:30-10:00
Direct Imaging of Exoplanets: The PICTURE series of experiments at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell Supriya Chakrabarti           (UMASS, Lowell)   10:00-10:30
Ground-based observational facilities in India   G.C. Anupama (IIA)  10:30-10:50
M-dwarf exoplanet hosts Lalitha Sairam (IIA)   10:50-11:10

Tea break 11:10-11:40 

Astrosat for simultaneous multi-wavelength studies on exoplanets Koshy George (IIA)   11:40-12:00
Exoplanet atmosphere characterisation through visible and IR spectroscopy Giovanna Tinetti (UCL)   12:00-12:30
Molecular line lists for exoplanet spectroscopy and future instruments Jonathan Tennyson (UCL)   12:30-13:00

Lunch break 13:00-14:30 

Hands on session on transit data analysis using Kepler and ground-based observations Koshy George & Lalitha Sairam (IIA)   14:30-16:00

Tea break 16:00-16:30 

Hands on session on Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer data -- transit spectroscopy Marcell Tessenyi (UCL)   16:30-18:00

For further details about the workshop e-mail us at or

Image credit: NASA/ W. Stenzel